Whether you’ve just started at uni or you’re in the process of finding your first role as a graduate, it’s a good idea to get your head around the importance of understanding different cultural perspectives.
As the world becomes more multi-cultural, it’s impossible to have in-depth knowledge of every culture you encounter. What’s far more essential is your ability to be open minded and culturally sensitive towards the people you meet and interact with. You also need to grasp how your culture has influenced your behaviours and beliefs.
Employers often seek evidence that you can demonstrate cultural awareness, and recruiters look for attributes that indicate you’re able to work well in a diverse workplace.
Sometimes, your organisation might transfer you to a place that you’ve never heard of, never mind visited, before. If you’re lucky, you’ll have time to research your destination before you leave. Or your employer might give you some form of cultural awareness training, to prepare you for life in your new home.
But you’re still likely to encounter attitudes or behaviours that are different to anything you’ve experienced before. How you react when this happens can make a big difference to whether you enjoy your relocation or merely tolerate it.
Organisations also have unique cultures. Some allow you to keep personal items on your desk, while some have a clean desk policy. Your new employer has a different attitude to dress codes or time keeping to your last one. As with relocating, a little bit of research before you start your job and a willingness to be open minded will make your transition to your new workplace easier.
Curtin Careers, Employment and Leadership can help you work on your cultural awareness skills before you leave uni, so you can show recruiters that you’re culturally competent.